By Paul Pannone
Since 2000 the men’s formal wear rental business deteriorated to the current condition and continues to face challenges brought about by economic factors and social changes that oppose marriage– especially formal ones. In 2000 tuxedo trade organizations and decision-makers refused to listen to the probable changes that were before them. It’s taken over a decade of decline for some to acknowledge a new generation of formal wear users do not want to wear their father’s “After Six” tuxedo. More than likely it will take a new generation of formal wear leadership to supply fresh, new merchandise with current appeal to lift the business out of the doldrums.
Last week FLOW Formal took a major step towards the future by signing a celebrity known to millions of TV viewers that calls himself the Situation. The story was top news and already ranks on Google’s first page of search results.
“This is exactly what we had in mind when we decided to go after the Situation; it brings awareness to tuxedos and makes them appealing to today’s consumers,” according to Brian Weintraub of FLOW.
Brian and Eric, the new generational members of the FLOW executive team concur and are already looking towards similar projects that depart from the farty, old and broken that’s kept the tuxedo business buried beneath the recognition it deserves.
Paul Morrell in Little Rock, Arkansas, is one of the most trusted and respected formal wear sources in the business.
The announcement rattles some cages from small independent store owners but after some thought resulted in statements from some of the tuxedo business’ most esteemed organizations including Paul Morrell.
“We admit our initial reaction to the press release from FLOW was a bit less than enthusiastic, but, we always work to make the best of whatever we are faced with. With that in mind, we can see where the new spokesperson for FLOW can have a significant positive impact on the formal market of 2011 and beyond.
With some guidance, and a willingness to do what needs to be done, the teens and twenty-somethings of today will witness his moving from his current market look of edgy coolness to the trendsetting transformation of his appearance in the best of Black Tie. They will see the incredible reality of how any man dressing formally receives an improved sense of his own masculinity, and a desire to remember the special, fleeting moments in his life.
Although our mindset is to desire a traditional ‘leading man’ image whom all can look at and see themselves in a tuxedo, that persona is perhaps no longer the singular best way to capture the attention of the 18 to 35-year-old male, or female. The culture is always changing and part of our role as an industry is to be part of that change and in some way lead our potential customers in a healthy way. Mike Sorrentino has already stated (in a recent interview) he is “working hard to change the perceptions people have”… perhaps FLOW and our industry can help him do this successfully, and at the same time draw others into marriage, formal weddings, prom, and other events.
We will do our best to support FLOW and the industry in this hopeful effort of seeing large numbers of ‘turning heads’ as they are blown away by something they did not expect to see…. an “improving Situation”.
Imagine the impact when Mike finds the woman of his dreams, and has a Jersey Shore Formal Destination Wedding….Black Tie Required. That could indeed help promote Marriage, and Dressing Formally.”
Positive Reaction by the industry, blogs outside the tuxedo industry picking up the story, consumer interest, coupled with updated merchandise at affordable prices hits all the components of success. eWedNewz will follow this “situation” to watch how it develops.
All Rights Reserved